Episode 164: Understanding the near-surface scattering problem

Carlos Calderón-Macías discusses his 2022 Latin America Honorary Lecture, “Near-surface scattering in seismic data: from signal to noise and noise to signal.”

In the literature, there have been two general analyses of the near-surface scattering problem in terms of its understanding and application, with little explicit overlap between the two. The more visited one is the noise attenuation problem, and there have been numerous approaches to this problem with varying degrees of success. The second view uses noise as signal, but with fewer widespread applications. This lecture reviews the topic and describes the near-surface scattering problem for both land and ocean bottom data, emphasizing the second, given the growing interest in this type of acquisition.

Carlos holistically explores the near-surface scattering problem in this conversation with host Andrew Geary. He highlights ways to understand the problem better and why using the noise as signal approach should be further developed. He also explores the differences in the scattered waves for land, ocean-bottom, and near-surface data. Carlos shares what inspired this lecture, the three groups perfect for this talk, and the questions he hopes attendees will ask themselves. Not only does this conversation highlight the near-surface scattering problem, but it showcases general approaches for solving any geophysical problem.

Seismic Soundoff · 164: Understanding the near-surface scattering problem

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Carlos Calderón-Macías joined ION Geophysical in 2006, advising seismic multicomponent, imaging, and model building. He is currently chief geophysicist in research and development. 

Carlos graduated with a Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of Texas at Austin in 1997 and earned a bachelor’s degree in geophysical engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1992. Upon graduating from UT Austin, Carlos joined Mobil Technology as a visiting scientist researching multiple elimination and imaging technology. He joined the Mexican Institute of Petroleum (2000) to research multicomponent seismic for hydrocarbon exploration. 

Within ION Geophysical, Carlos has helped develop imaging and model-building technology for 3D seismic marine exploration, advised imaging/model building projects in the GOM and offshore Brazil, and has taught education courses and workshops. Carlos is currently an associate editor for Geophysical Prospecting and has been an SEG member for the past 25 years.


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Original music created by Zach Bridges. This episode was hosted, edited, and produced by Andrew Geary at 51 features, LLC. Thank you to the SEG podcast team: Jennifer Cobb, Kathy Gamble, and Ally McGinnis.

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